Rain washed out the T&T Red Force’s practice match on Wednesday at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva without a ball being bowled. Instead, the squad was forced to retreat to the indoor practice nets for a session.
They will try again on Friday at the same venue in which another practice match is scheduled from 9:30 am. With roughly a month to go to the tournament, head coach David Furlonge badly needs some time out in the middle as players stake their claim for one of the 15 positions on the squad.
With COVID-19 restrictions also limiting training, Khary Pierre is hoping that his experience in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will serve him well going into this tournament. Having been part of the bio-secure bubble last year with the Trinbago Knight Riders, Pierre told Guardian Media Sports on Wednesday, “Just like CPL, a lot of tournaments around the world has been affected by the pandemic so as professional cricketers we need to go out there and just focus on playing cricket.”
With a packed home season of cricket lined up for 2021 with Guardian Media Sports reporting that Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan and Australia are set to tour the Caribbean, the Parkite is aiming to push his way back into the West Indies set-up having played three One Day Internationals (ODI) and 10 T20 Internationals. “That is my main aim to get back on the West Indies team. I just want to go out there and make my performances do the talking,” the left-arm-spinner said.
He’s been relishing the opportunity to train with senior West Indies players such as Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo and former West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo who has been around the training sessions. “It’s always good to mix the experience with the youth. Generally, we have a good team. It’s just for the boys to go out there, play as a unit and bring it home,” he said.
Pierre’s fellow Parkites Kirstan Kallicharan has also been enjoying training with the senior players. The 21-year-old doesn’t expect to make the final squad that will fly to Antigua for the tournament, but he’s been using the opportunity to grow his own game. He said, “All the guys are back home so it’s a lot harder for me to have an opportunity to play but I’m still satisfied and happy to be part of the training camp and going forward I can learn something from them.”
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Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies (CWI) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Johnny Grave confirmed on the Mason and Guest Show on the Voice of Barbados programme on Tuesday that the board is looking to host two rounds of the first-class tournament after Easter.
The Englishman said they are hoping that Barbados and T&T will be the hosts of the tournament with the second round being played here at home. He said, “As soon as we make a bit more progress with the Barbados Cricket Association and the Barbados government and the T&T Cricket Board and the T&T government we’ll be in a position to announce that [the fixtures] but we’re obviously living and working in unprecedented times with huge uncertainty so this is till best-case scenarios and subject to everything.”